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By the sea, Dorset

During the last Ice Age, evidence shows that sea levels were much lower than today, because vast amounts of water were trapped on land as ice sheets. Sea level was so much lower, you could have walked from England to France on dry land!

About 10,000 years ago, the ice melted and sea levels began to rise. Shingle, washed up by storm waves, was swept ever further inland as the sea advanced.

At Chesil Beach, the sea has not yet reached its former position from before the last ice age – when the coast was at the foot of the slopes in the distance. A lake has been trapped behind the storm beach. More gravel is added to the beach from further west where cliffs are being eroded by waves, and is moved along the coast - driven in by south-westerly winds – a process called longshore drift.

Chesil beach, Dorset

Chesil beach, Dorest
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